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The Stare Down

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Below is the poem entitled The Stare Down which was written by poet Joe Flach. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Stare Down

It was a bit disturbing to look up from what I was doing and seeing my father standing right in front of me.

We simply stared into each other’s eyes without saying a word.

Somehow, I felt so old.
Somehow, he looked so young.

I am not sure what it was that I read in his eyes and his expression.

Was he being judgmental?  Was he questioning the choices I had made with my life?
Or, was that the look of him being proud of the man I had become?

Was he trying to silently pass along his experiences and wisdom to me telepathically?
Or, was he simply content to be standing here next to one of his offspring?

The silence was growing awkward and I felt like I should say something … anything.
Then, I realized, just standing here next to my father at this point in time simply said it all.  There was nothing else to add.

Staring at him, watching him stare at me, I couldn’t help keep a smile from appearing on my face.  He responded back with that shit-eating grin that was uniquely my father.

I heard my wife calling from the bottom of the stairs, “Joe, if you don’t hurry we are going to be late.”

That is when I finished tying my tie and turned away from the bathroom mirror.

I could almost hear him say, “Goodbye, Pal”, as I slipped on his ring that my mother gave to me at his funeral.

As I walked down the stairs, Cindy looked up at me and laughed, “My God,” she said, “you look more and more like your father every day.”

I simply replied, “I know”, as I subtly wiped away the tear before it had a chance to escape my eye.

I miss you, Pal.

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  1. Date: 11/19/2013 12:31:00 PM
    i am so moved by how you treated this delicate subject, joe... you are your father's son long before your birth.. a sensitive, erudite work i will always remember... wow:) huggles

  1. Date: 11/15/2013 7:42:00 AM
    Dear Joe - This is an absolute beauty. I love "he looked so young, somehow I felt so old" love, Kathy

  1. Date: 11/11/2013 5:58:00 PM
    beautiful and very touching...